Sunflowers One Day, Oily Stuff the Next: Pacific Biodiesel Turns Sunflower Seeds into Oil for Cooking and Massages — in Addition to Biofuel
by Melissa Tanji (Maui News) … Around 1,330 gallons of sunflower oil was generated from the first 14-acre field farmed by Pacific Biodiesel last year.
Company founder and President Bob King said this past week that most of last year’s initial crops went to making oils for cosmetic use and to manufacturing food-grade cooking oil, which has yet to hit the market.
The rest of the oil went to biodiesel, the company’s specialty.
The first harvested fields became a Maui sunflower oil being sold in bulk to spas for their massage and other spa treatments, said Joy Galatro, Pacific Biodiesel’s marketing director. The oil is not yet available as a retail product.
Helping with pinpointing the best times for planting is Maui Native Hawaiian cultural practitioner Kimokeo Kapahulehua.
On Wednesday, Kapahulehua chanted at the sunflower fields during the first cycle of the Hawaiian moon, or o’onui, which means “growing bigger.”
Wednesday was the second night of the first cycle, and it’s believed to be a good day for planting. Thus, King was set to begin planting his next set of sunflowers that day.
“With the introduction of Hawaiian practices and Pacific Biodiesel, we take the past and the present with what will be in the future,” Kapahulehua said.
He also will help the company grow coconuts and ulu, which is breadfruit.
King said the company plans to plant chickpeas and safflower as well this year. READ MORE